Some years ago, I was an undergrad in England. Israel was doing bad things then as they do now. One day, I got an e-mail calling for an "academic boycott." We shouldn't invite Israeli professors to give lectures. We shouldn't take their invitations. European institutions shouldn't collaborate with their Israeli equivalents. It was a lot more complicated, but that's all I still remember. On the list of signatures, I found the name of a teacher of mine, which was a little bit surprising, as he didn't seem particularly left-oriented in person.
I partly agreed with the call for a boycott; I was against what Israel was doing. I had to wonder nonetheless: how come they don't boycott British universities first, or at least simultaneously? It was during the Tony Blair government. The United Kingdom was doing its best to take orders from Washington, which was sponsoring Israel. So if it was wrong to support Israel, and if it was right to boycott their academic and cultural institutions, it should have been wrong to participate in the British University system. I was kind of soft on logic back then, but that was my thinking.
By the way, do you know Japan? It's my country, and I love it. Just before the invasion of Iraq, an American came to Komaba, Tokyo, and made a speech. He said it's a patriot's duty to expose the crimes of their own country. I agree. Katsuichi Honda, another patriot, said something quite similar decades ago.
So to put it simply:
1. I'm a Japanese citizen.
2. I love my country.
3. A patriot denounces his own country in public, if it does something wrong.
4. Japan is doing terrible things such as persecuting foreigners, forgetting the War crimes, allowing the American millitary occupation, supporting Israel, etc. (I will provide specific details at this blog if you'd like me to.)
Hence my call for an international boycott.
Please be assured that the Japanese Constitution is on my side, as We the Japanese declared thus on November 3, 1946:
We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution. Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people. This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.
We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want.
We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of political morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.
We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.
We are the sovereign of this nation, and as such we are responsible for anything Japan does. And we ask you to boycott us, as we desire to occupy an honored place in an international society.